I’ve been off holidaying for the last few days so I’m a bit late in my comics to buy this post. It’s a small list week dominated by the insanity of Spider-Man #700 (I
spoiled told my nephew on Christmas Eve about it and he just didn’t believe me) but there is one comic I want to put a spotlight on:
Brian Wood practically has a Good Housekeeping seal of approval when it comes to writing comics and writing comics with great female leads. And this story plays to Woods’ strengths - future society, world building and introducing a lead character layer by layer. Mara Prince is a sports star in a future where sports are intregal to society. In this first issue we meet her, learn her history, her family and hints of her current life.
Wood is one of the few writers who always surprises me with his writing even if I have no idea given his output (X-Men, The Massive, Conan, Star Wars and this) he ever sleeps.
Wood is matched here by artist Ming Doyle. I’ve been a fan of Doyle’s work for a few years and its nice to see her getting this high profile gig. She works very well with Wood and her strength at capturing intimate moments with characters which I’ve appreciated in her prior pieces is on full display here.
The team is rounded out by Jordie Bellaire shows once again why she is one of the best colorists in comics today.
Mara #1 is available now by digital download or in your LCS. Give it try and let me know what you think.
How gorgeous is this portrait of Dick and Kory by Ming Doyle? I love her work and her take on the Batfamily and wish DC would wake up and give her a project. Today I’ll be focusing on Dick and Kory’s relationship which means this is probably the most amount of clothing you’ll see on these two in all day.
… will we ever see another woman writing a Batman title? Are these issues of Detective and Batman:Legend of the Dark Knight, by Louise Simonson (from 1991) and Devin Grayson (2005), the last Batman books that will see a woman’s hand?
It’s been a decade since Devin Grayson became the first ongoing female writer on a Batman title with Batman:Gotham Knights. Since then no other female has headed up a Batman title. Female writers have written the character but in other books.
The reason I ask this question today, besides there being no woman currently writing a Batman title, is because there seems to be a trend at DC with the Bat-titles. Tuesday, artist David Finch was named the artist and writer on a new Batman title The Dark Knight. Tony Daniel has done both writing and art on Batman. And J.H. Williams was given a dual title for the upcoming Batwoman. I don’t have an issue with writer/artists. The Wonder Woman book saw great work from three sets of writer/artists Perez, Jimemez and Byrne.
But the the move towards artists writing their own books means there is less opportunity for a new writing talent to try their wheels. Or for an existing writer to expand their repertoire. Now this can also be looked at as an opportunity. If there is a strong female artist perhaps she could become one of the writer/artist brethren. But there are only a few females artists in the DC repertoire. And Nicola Scott, I believe, is the only one under contract and I don’t believe she’s done any writing. Power Girl’s former artist Amanda Conner, who ironically wrote and drew a story in Wonder Woman #600, is a free agent. Her story in the Wonder Woman issue was one of the best though, I hope she does more writing.
Will another candidate emerge? Would Lauren Montgomery, currently the director on DC direct to video movies ever take on the writing of a comic? What about someone like Ming Doyle the artist who has a unique stamp on the Batfamily and has written at least one story about them? Will Amy Reeder will get an opportunity out sharing art duties with J.H. Williams on Batwoman?
And since there are still opportunites to write a Bat-title and not draw it, what chances does a woman have of getting the job? I’ve already discussed the dearth of female writers in DC comics. Will DC continue to look at other media such as television to expand their rosters? JMS and now Bryan Q. Miller have been successful additions to comic book writing. Will DC give up looking and recruiting females after giving Felicia Henderson and Angela Robinson (who I would love to see on another book) tries?
I think it’s general knowledge that the Batman books are the big kids table at DC and writing a Batman book is considered the big time. Putting your name next to Dennis O’Neil, Frank Miller, Doug Moench, Greg Rucka, and Grant Morrison among others has got to be a thrill and a career milestone. I hope there is another woman who gets to put her name on the list. I could be pessimistic, but DC does have a way of surprising me. If someone had told me five years ago that Detective Comics the flagship Batman book, would feature a female Bat who was an out lesbian, I would have said they were crazy. I am thrilled to say I was wrong about that. I hope DC proves my questioning whether another female will write a Batman title is wrong as well.
Update 7/15: Within a few hours of my posting this DC announced that Scott Snyder of American Vampire would be the new head writer on Detective and that Tony Daniel would be the ongoing writer/artist on Batman. This morning they announced that Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason would reunited to be the new team on Batman & Robin. Nicola Scott was also given a new gig but not on a Batbook. She was named artist on the perpetually troubled Teen Titans which will now be written by J.T. Krul who is responsible for The Rise of Arsenal mini and the ongoing writer on Green Arrow. In other words, Status Quo.